Habits: Is There A “Right” Approach?

Building healthy habits is good; being obsessive and rigid about them to the point of self-deprecation isn’t.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

I wasted so much mental energy on the dance around not writing that I had no energy left to actually write.

Action Triumphs

My experience this past year is that when something is a habit, action ultimately triumphs over the mental dance swiftly and easily.

Habits take the “efforting” and struggling and negotiating out of the equation so that there’s no room for backing out. End of story.

The “Right” Approach

I’ve also been thinking about the right approach to habits, though.

I want it to be a habit, not so that I feel regimented and “less than” if I don’t achieve it daily, but so that I have a guide for living well. I want it to serve as my guiding light, rather than feel like a burden I have to bear.

Why So Serious?

Far too often, people take their habits a bit too seriously, almost. What I mean by that is, when they miss a day (and they will miss a day, because they’re human), they feel like complete failures and beat themselves up for their slip up.

One missed day doesn’t mean the habit has to be thrown out the window; it means you try again tomorrow. You pick up where you left off, and you keep going.

We’re Only Human

If I work on building this habit of waking up at 5am, and two months into it (or two days into it), I sleep through my alarm and wake up at 9am instead, it doesn’t mean anything apart from the fact that perhaps I was exhausted and my body needed the extra sleep. I can still go back to waking up at 5am the next day.

Thankfully, though, I’m learning that the missed day isn’t what matters most; starting up again the next day matters a whole lot more.

Writer & dreamer with a passion for personal growth, travel and self-discovery. I write about my journey through life and its many adventures and lessons.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store